Phone stores

FBI: Michigan man planted bombs near cell phone shops, threatened businesses for ‘immoral communications’

WHITEMORE, Mich. (WLNS) – A retired Whittemore man has been arrested after he allegedly placed pipe bombs near several cell phone shops and left threatening notes near cell phone towers.

According to the FBI, John Douglas Allen, 75, was part of a group called the “Coalition for Moral Telecommunication” (CMT.)

In a memo allegedly left by Allen, CMT has nearly “30 people” and aims to end the transmission of “profanity, pornography and all manner of indecent communications.” The memo gave mobile phone companies six months to comply, because “the software must [sic] developed.”

The note also demanded $5 million and further threatened cellphone companies, saying, “You can fight this if you want, go to the police, the FBI, or any government agency. Understand this: if A of our people is arrested, now or in the future, your problems will begin. Our reach is in 27 states so far. After any arrest, the price will increase a hundred times. Any doubts? Test us!

According to the FBI, Allen was caught on multiple security cameras. Once inside a Sault Ste. Marie sporting goods store, once outside an AT&T store in Sault Ste Marie with a package, and once outside a Cheboygan Verizon store.

The packages contained pipe bombs filled with metal balls and/or nails, the FBI said.

On September 16, the Cheboygan Police Department was dispatched to the Verizon store after an employee reported the package. Once there, the police contacted the MSP bomb disposal team, who confirmed that the package was a bomb.

Police were also called to the AT&T store, where a bomb was found inside the other package.

The handwriting on the packaging read “This is the final warning for the next opening hours [sic.]”

According to the FBI, Allen was filmed by traffic cameras in a brown van. At one point, the FBI believe he changed his license plate because Allen was spotted driving an identical vehicle with a different license plate.

Allen faces possible charges of extortion and attempting to damage or destroy buildings used in interstate commerce.

The full criminal complaint filed by the FBI can be read here.